Resolution Season is fast approaching! It’s important to at least start thinking about your resolutions.
If you are still “all talk” about change and just haven’t found your way, I encourage you to read this blog. Starting off, you have to be honest with yourself and ask yourself—“Which stage of change am I currently in?”
Change is Complex:
A ton of energy goes into making a lifestyle change—especially when it becomes a permanent change. Many often ask how long it takes for change to actually take place. Do you just wake up and decide “Today is the day!”? My short answer—yes, of course—but for most of us it’s a much longer process. Making a change can be broken down into multiple steps as illustrated by the Transtheoretical model. This model was developed by James Prochaska and Carlo DiClemente in the late 1970s/early 80s to help explain the process of change. It is important to know that entry and reentry into this cycle can take place at any stage (arrow).
Now let’s look at each of these stages in depth
- Pre-contemplation; this is when a person hasn’t thought about changing. . They may not even be aware that a problem even exists. Often this stage can be denial.
“My doctor says I should change my diet, but I can’t help that I like unhealthy food. This is how I’ve always ate.”
“My children tell me I should exercise more, but I really don’t need to. Plus, who has the time?”
“Everyone says I should stop smoking because of all the harmful side effects, and I will, just not right now. It’s not a good time.”
- Contemplation – this is when a person starts to think about change. They become aware of the negative effects their current habit or situation is causing/creating. At this stage, many are not sure how to make the change. Lacking the knowledge on how to make positive changes can enable a person to keep procrastinating change.
“I can’t believe I gained a so much over the holidays. Maybe I should read a health blog or a nutrition book.”
“I don’t remember my back hurting after gardening before. Maybe I should ask about some strengthening exercises.”
- Preparation; this is usually when people become much more aware of the pros and cons—often realizing the cons outweigh the pros of their situation. This jumpstarts their desire to change within the next 30 days. One might start taking small, but necessary, steps toward making a positive change. Unfortunately, people in this stage often give up—the fear of failure becomes overwhelming.
- Action; where a person is actively taking steps to change their life. It is important in this stage for you to learn successful ways to keep yourself on track. What helps you to be successful. It’s also very important to remember why you are making this change. Planning out small rewards for yourself after reaching certain goals can be very beneficial to your success.
- Maintenance; this is when a person must mentally strive every day to stay on track. You are now in the trenches of your newly improved life. You also understand you’re not perfect—slip-ups happen—but you learn to identify temptations and develop a strategy to overcome them.
We’ve all been there:
During the process of change, most people will go through some sort of relapse or setback. It is important to realize we are all human. If you fall off the horse, it’s always better to get back up than to stay defeated. If you are struggling with this, ask yourself—“where would I be now if I would have gotten up from last year’s resolution failure?” What if you had jumped right back on the horse then? Failures are learning experiences no matter how much they suck. They can and will make you stronger. Be the boss of your own body. Get up and fight—you get one body, take care of it.
It’s important to know that it can take weeks or months to move to the next stage of change. If you start now, you can—and will–make 2019 your year of lasting change! Start planning now. Buy that book on nutrition you’ve had your eye on. Hire that personal trainer. Buy the smoking cessation patches. You can do it, and we want to be there to help you do it!
If you enjoyed this post or think it would be helpful to others, please share!
More posts in the Time for Change series to come!
Thanks for reading,action, change, preparation, weightloss